Police dog bite case results in $1.5M award

HAYWARD - This San Francisco Bay Area city agreed to pay $1.5 million to settle a lawsuit alleging a police dog mistakenly bit an elderly man who then had to have part of his leg amputated and later died.

The Hayward Daily Review reported that the lawsuit was filed by the family of 89-year-old Jesse Porter, who was bitten in 2011 while the dog was searching for a suspect in an armed robbery.

According to the lawsuit, police lifted the dog over a security wall at a mobile home park where Porter lived and instructed it to keep searching for the suspect.

It mistakenly bit Porter instead. Porter died weeks later.

Hayward City Attorney Michael Lawson said the city denies responsibility for Porter's death. It will pay $250,000 of the settlement, with the rest covered by insurance.


Capitol hopes to save costs with geothermal

DENVER - The new geothermal heating and cooling system at the Colorado state Capitol is ready to start generating savings.

State officials hope underground wells tapping into an aquifer will bring hefty savings on utility bills.

The Denver Post reported the system is expected to save an estimated $100,000 in heating and cooling costs in the first year.


School bus system trying GPS tracking

HONOLULU - The state Department of Education will use routing software and GPS tracking for public school buses as part of efforts to overhaul a transportation system that has been criticized for being ineffective and outdated.

"We are completely transforming the way we procure, contract and operate a bus system the size of ours," Ray L'Heureux, assistant superintendent for school facilities and support services, said Wednesday.

The bus system involves about 45,000 students on more than 700 routes across the islands. A state audit last year blasted education officials, saying poor management resulted in spiraling costs. Money spent on student transportation has nearly tripled to $72.4 million since 2006.


KU medical facility gets $10 million gift

KANSAS CITY - A former dean at the University of Kansas Medical Center and her husband left a $10 million gift to the medical center and university libraries when they died last year.

The university's endowment association announced the gift Thursday from the estate of Stata Norton Ringle, a former dean of the School of Allied Health at the medical center, and her husband, David Ringle. The couple lived in Leawood.

Stata Ringle was a faculty member and administrator at the medical center from 1962 to 1990. David Ringle was a research physiologist for the Midwest Research Institute.

The university said the gift will be divided between student scholarships at the School of Health Professions, the Clendening History of Medicine Library and the Kenneth Spencer Research Library.


Supreme Court backs annexation by Reno

RENO - The Nevada Supreme Court upheld the city of Reno's annexation of 7,000 acres in Cold Springs.

The Reno Gazette-Journal reported the high court ruled the city did nothing wrong when it expanded its territory into the community.

About a dozen property owners asked the city to annex their undeveloped land in 2005. But residents in the unincorporated areas of Cold Springs challenged the decision, arguing it would destroy their rural lifestyles.

The legal questions have been winding through the court system for years.

But in a July 8 ruling, the Supreme Court said residents who challenged the annexation didn't demonstrate an adverse effect to support claims that the city abused its discretion.

New Mexico

State lands 3 movies, including 'Abbey' star

SANTA FE - Three new films projects are coming to New Mexico.

New Mexico Film Office Director Nick Maniatis on Wednesday announced that a dramatic thriller called "The Guest," will be filming through the end of August in Moriarty, Edgewood and Estancia.

Starring Downton Abbey's Dan Stephens, "The Guest" is about a family that takes in a houseguest who claims to have been friends with their deceased eldest son.

Also being filmed in the state this month and next is a political drama called "Persecuted," and a movie called "Dry Lake."

"Persecuted" is the story of a contemporary evangelist who is framed for murder by a senator and his allies. Stars include James Remar, Bruce Davison, Fred Thompson, Raoul Trujillo and Natalie Grant.

"Dry Lake" is about three Native American teenagers, an adopted Christian girl, a rebellious father-to-be, and a promiscuous friend trying to escape the hardships of life on an Indian reservation.


Schools hit by storms to receive supplies

OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma State Superintendent Janet Barresi launched an initiative to provide teachers affected by this year's storms with a "wish list" of school supplies.

Barresi announced she is launching "Project Meet the Need" after hearing from teachers whose classrooms were damaged or destroyed by spring tornadoes, floods and other storms.

Barresi also is asking teachers, administrators or support staff that lost classroom supplies to notify her department, which is posting a list of needed items on its website.

Donations can also be brought to the State Department of Education's Oliver Hodge Building in the north Capitol complex from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The department plans to delivers supplies to teachers before the start of the school year.


Contamination hotline set up by Fort Bliss

FORT BLISS - Military leaders at Fort Bliss where radioactivity was detected in a Cold War-era bunker are hoping for tips that could lead to other contaminated sites on the sprawling Army post near El Paso.

Maj. Joe Buccino said Thursday about 60 people have called since a hotline was established last week. He said officials are trying to determine the accuracy of calls from people who worked at the post in the 1950s and 1960s.

Officials announced Tuesday that low levels of radiation were detected as part of an investigation that began two months ago.

Epoxy paint was applied to the interior of the bunker but chipped away over the years, revealing contamination underneath. Nuclear weapons were assembled there years ago.

The bunker has been used since 2003 to store weapons for training.


Fish kill at reservoir tied to drought

SALT LAKE CITY - A state biologist blames heat and low water levels for a fish kill at Strawberry Reservoir.

Division of Wildlife Resources biologist Alan Ward told KSL-TV that about 600 fish have been found dead in the Ladders area of the lake about 55 miles southeast of Salt Lake City.

Ward said low water levels are killing aquatic vegetation, and high temperatures are lowering water oxygen levels.

He said temperatures in the 90s and 100s have a pronounced effect.

Drought has lowered water levels to a point that Ward says he hasn't seen in his 13 years at Strawberry Reservoir.

The lake was full in 2011. It's currently at about 79 percent.

The Associated Press